SOUTH BEND — The high school age youth and young adults of the diocese are invited along with other interested faithful to participate in a six-church passion walk on Palm Sunday led by Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades. The pilgrimage will offer the youth an extraordinary opportunity to not only pray the Stations of the Cross and celebrate Mass as a community, but to present a public witness to their faith as well. No registration is required.
The pilgrims of the faith community are invited to gather at St. Joseph Church parking lot, located at 226 N. Hill St. in South Bend, between 11:15 and 11:45 a.m. on Sunday, April 17. The pilgrimage will begin promptly at noon when those in attendance will sing hymns and pray the sorrowful mysteries of the rosary. A brief corresponding parish history will be read at each of the six churches on the journey.
Bishop Rhoades will then lead the travelers to St. Patrick Church, located at 309 S. Taylor St., where the pilgrims will begin their meditation on the Lord’s journey to Calvary by praying the first four stations there. The next four stations will be witnessed at St. Hedwig Church, 331 S. Scott St. As the group processes again through the streets of South Bend they will stop next at St. Augustine Church, 1501 W. Washington St., to pray Stations 9-12 and finally conclude the Way of the Cross by praying the last two Stations at St. Stanislaus Church, 415 N. Brookfield St.
Following the completion of the Lord’s Passion, the pilgrims will exit St. Stanislaus Church for the distribution and blessing of the palms, and the proclamation of the Gospel outside the church. Finally the pilgrimage will route the faithful to Holy Cross Church, 1050 Wilbur, where they will join Bishop Rhoades in the celebration of Palm Sunday Mass at 4 p.m. A simple reception will follow. Buses will be provided to transport pilgrims back to St. Joseph Church.
The pilgrimage grew out of a spirited suggestion from author Kathryn Jennings of South Bend, who has provided the histories of the chosen parishes, taken from her book titled, “My Catholic Hometown.” Mary Glowaski, director of the Office of Campus and Young Adult Ministry says,”Jennings thought this would be a great way to expose our youth to the history of our churches.”
The initiative has been the collaborative effort of a host of diocesan offices including the Office of Campus and Young Adult Ministry, the Office of Youth Ministry, Hispanic Ministry and the Office of Worship. Glowaski says, “The spirit of cooperation among the departments and people of the community have made this possible. They have been a real blessing.”
She adds that the city of South Bend has been gracious to work with, in closing streets and preparation for this event as well. And she reports that the parish priests have been more than willing to participate even with their busy Lenten schedules. “The spirit of willingness has been inspiring,” says Glowaski.
For many youth and young adults, gathering as community is not a priority, reports Glowaski. But she says this event will show them the importance of community and the universality of the church, “right here in the diocese.” The pilgrimage will also encourage their special and much needed role in evangelization.
Bishop Rhoades looks forward to joining the faithful of the diocese on the pilgrimage, and says, “When I was in the seminary in Rome, every Lent we did a seven church walk to the seven major churches of Rome, following the itinerary of St. Philip Neri. When some of our parishioners suggested this walk in South Bend I thought what a great opportunity for us to walk together the Way of the Cross and to pray at these historic churches. I’m really looking forward to beginning Holy Week in prayerful pilgrimage with the faithful.”
For more information contact the Office of Campus and Young Adult Ministry or the Office of Youth Ministry at (260) 422-4611.
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